- Associated Press - Monday, December 15, 2014

ROMEO, Mich. (AP) - Witnesses have testified to seeing a man charged in the slaying of 14-year-old April Millsap with her on the same southeastern Michigan recreation trail where her body was found.

The preliminary examination started Monday in Romeo District Court for 32-year-old James VanCallis.

Authorities say VanCallis hit Millsap with a motorcycle helmet and stomped on her in Armada near a popular Macomb County trail on July 24. They say the man from St. Clair County’s Wales Township was planning to rape her but a witness interrupted him.

VanCallis is charged with first-degree murder and assault with intent to rape.

Oakland University professor Mary Stein testified that VanCallis was speaking with Millsap as Stein and her husband bicycled past on July 24.

Stein said the man “did not say hi … and looked down” as they made eye contact. Stein also testified that she contacted police after learning about the girl’s murder.

William Buchannan testified that VanCallis was a few feet from Millsap as the girl appeared to talk on her cellphone.

Testimony is scheduled to resume Tuesday.

Last month, VanCallis was sentenced to a year in jail in a separate drug case. He and his father earlier pleaded guilty to manufacturing marijuana.

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